Political match-up places Randolph-Macon in the spotlight - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Political match-up places Randolph-Macon in the spotlight

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Students at a Central Virginia college have a lot to be excited about. Tuesday's election outcome is thrusting Randolph-Macon College into the national spotlight.

David Brat is a professor at Randolph-Macon and so is his challenger on the Democratic ticket - Jack Trammell. Even though the school is operating on a scaled-back summer schedule right now, there's a sense of pride throughout campus. Students say they couldn't be more thrilled to know two of their very own are now vying for Washington.

Randoloph-Macon is a small liberal arts college with just some 1,300 students. Wednesday, eyes all over the country are watching.

"It's a fantastic school. I would know. I go here," said Derek Dittmar.

Dittmar is paying close attention to a race that's become personal. The student, who is legally blind, has grown fond of one of his professors -- Jack Trammel.

"He does look at people and looks at what they can do rather than what they can not," he said.

Trammell is preparing to face off for the 7th congressional district this fall.

His challenger, Randolph-Macon professor David Brat, beat career politician Eric Cantor Tuesday night.

"I did not expect him to win by a landslide," said student Elliot Meyer.

He is another student following the race. Meyer is glad his economics professor pulled it off.

"I've been someone watching from afar, going to the different events that the Brat campaign has put on. I've gone to a lot of his grassroots speeches," Meyer said.

He believes Brat's skills in the classroom will be helpful in Washington.

"He's intriguing and he's a very energetic professor. He's someone that really commands the attention of the classroom," Meyer said.

College officials are now weighing in on the political battle.

"We don't know if this is a historic event but it certainly feels that way to us…They both represent the very best of Randolph-Macon," said college President Robert Lindgren.

Students are thrilled to see a real life scenario unfolding right in front of them, perhaps more exciting than any lesson from a textbook.

"I think for once we may actually see a race involving people treating one another with respect," Dittmar said.

Randolph-Macon is in Ashland -- often referred to as "the center of the universe." Now that this political match-up hits so close to home, with just about everyone watching, some would argue that Ashland really is living up to its hype.

Randolph-Macon's President also said both of the professors have very close relationships with their students.

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